What Do Child Psychologists Say About Divorce and Custody?

When approaching divorce in Georgia, it is easy to focus almost entirely on legal issues. You might be thinking about what kind of lawyer you should hire for your divorce and whether to work with financial planners to protect your wealth. But you might also consider getting advice from child psychologists. These professionals approach divorce differently than lawyers or accountants, and they focus entirely on your child’s well-being. So, what do they say? What kind of things do they recommend?

Advice From the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies states that “there is no one type of legal or physical custody arrangement that has been found to be best for children.” The association goes on to say that various people – including psychological experts – have very different opinions on what works best. Some say the best situation is joint custody, others support sole custody, and some say that the child should remain with the parent of the same sex. The association maintains that the real focus should be minimizing conflict, keeping routines consistent, and making your child’s life as simple as possible in a post-divorce world. 

The minimization of conflict is a key point. One way to do this is to pursue an amicable divorce behind closed doors. Avoiding a trial is a no-brainer for many reasons, including lower costs, quicker resolutions, and more privacy. However, it can also be a solid choice for maintaining your child’s mental health. It is beneficial for a child to see that their parents are willing to work together and negotiate cooperatively, even after the marriage is over. 

Consistency is another vital area that parents should focus on. Whether you pursue joint custody or not, keeping both living environments relatively similar helps children experience more stability. Consider rules and discipline. If a child is able to get away with things in one parent’s household but is punished for doing those things in the other parent’s home, this can lead to confusion and mental health issues. 

One way to address this problem is to work with your ex and establish a few clear ground rules that will stay in place across both households. You do not have to make all of the rules identical, but the most important rules should be consistent. For example, how long is a child allowed to stay out at night? Are they allowed to have sleepovers? Parents can agree on these rules on their own without help from a lawyer. There may be some rules that need to be agreed upon with legal assistance, however. Joint legal custody dictates that major life decisions should be made with both parents’ consent. These might involve religion, education, medical treatment, and things of that nature. 

Work With a Dedicated Family Law Attorney to Protect Your Child’s Well-Being

If you are trying to protect your child’s best interests in Georgia, you are not alone in this battle. Although lawyers focus on legal matters, they can still help you protect the well-being of your child. Contact Lankford & Moore Law at your earliest convenience to book a consultation. We can discuss your plans for your children and get started with an effective custody strategy. Whether you want to minimize conflicts or keep your children away from a dangerous ex, we have your back. Reach out now.


I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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